In our experience, most folks, including ourselves don’t have enough of an understanding of risk and the role it plays in our lives and careers and so we have made a concerted effort as a team to have conversations about risk with our interviewees. We’ve shared some highlights below.

Leigh Dow | Marketing Strategist & Entrepreneur

Being an entrepreneur means you are willing to embrace risk taking, but I tend think about it more as having a preference for experimentation. I’m probably best known for having a nonlinear approach, using critical thinking, intuition and risk taking to deliver an imaginative solution to a problem. But in my mind, I think less about taking risks, and more about conducting experiments. Half of small businesses fail within the first five years. Whenever I have a new business idea, I try to break it up into the different kinds of risk, or ambiguity, I will face. Entrepreneurs face financial risk, competitive risks, risk to reputation and more. What makes my career different now from when I was a corporate employee, is that now as an entrepreneur, I get to maximize experimentation and have more control over the variables. If I have an idea I think is viable, I experiment with it. Read more>>

Roberto Murphy | Photographer & Timelapser

I think risk taking is essential in any life/career. It gets you out of your comfort zone, it makes you grow and evolve. The learning experience becomes too slow if you aren’t taking risks. Risks demand; action, focus and determination and they become necessary exercises to achieve your goals. Read more>>

Mike Scott | Photographer

I look at risk and see how it will affect me in the long run, either good or bad. Once I have decided if the effect of it is good I will pursue that risk but still be mindful of any issues that may come up in the process of implementing that risk. Risk has played a big part in my life and career for a very long time since the first time I decided I wanted to strike out and work for myself. I have taken risks with many other business and ventures before photography, some of those ventures are still going strong, and some I have had to take a step back and reevaluate its value in my life and decide if that risk I initially thought was a good one had come to an end, and it was time to move forward in a different direction. There is a quote by Fredrick Wilcox that sums up risks for me “Progress always involves risks. Read more>>

Ginalyn McNamara | Creative Director & Visionary

We took a pretty big risk opening a business right at the beginning of the pandemic. We were reluctant and wasn’t sure if the business model was going to work. We took the leap and here we are with a full schedule of bookings and it wouldn’t of happened if we hadn’t taken the first step. Taking risks in business and in life is important, it allows you to strategize to your next step to success. Learn from the failures and keep pushing forward and celebrating small wins. Read more>>

Kaleigh Marks | Infused Bakery Owner

Risk taking is something I am getting better at. At first, when I started my business I was ready to take all the risks. Mostly with the people I chose to trust in the business. Other businesses wanting to help me and I was so excited to listen to what everyone had to say. Eager to learn all that I could because I had heard that Arizona was one of the places you had to fit into a clique to make things actually happen for yourself. Being the introvert that I am, I was still ready to put myself out there and it is exactly what I did. I was taking more risks letting people in my circle than I should have rather than taking bigger risks with myself. I have learned that the biggest risk I took was trusting the people that were around me. Starting a business you really have to KNOW the people your working with. You have to read fine lines and between the lines. Not everyone is really out to help you, so know their gain from the situation. Read more>>

Rick Borden | Urban Farmer & Real Estate Broker

One of the primary differences between those who achieve greatness in their lives as practitioners or as scholars and those who manage only to “get by” is that successful people learned early that they were responsible for their actions and their ability to evaluate risk. No other person can make you successful or keep you from achieving your practitioner and academic goals. Taking the initiative means assuming a leadership role, a position that singles you out for praise — and for criticism. A good leader is the one who shares the credit for success with others and assumes full responsibility for failures or temporary setbacks. When you accept responsibility for your actions, you gain the respect of others and are well on the way to creating your future. Read more>>

Alex Tibbitts | Electronic Artist & Harpist

I attribute much of my success from the knowledge and skills I gained through the risks I have taken. When I look back on what guided me through my early-career, I recognize the challenges I refused to shy away from, the unconventional decisions that became the foundation of my work. I have more “skin in the game” when taking risks. I invest more of myself into my projects and endeavors, and in turn, the outcomes are far more rewarding. Read more>>

Michael Spangenberg | CEO & Co-Founder

I don’t feel you can advance in your career or personal life without taking risks. A few memorable risks we took at State Forty Eight, were transitioning from part time to full time roles and becoming corporate sponsors with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Both risks played a major part in our growth. I also feel strongly the more you work at something the more success you will achieve. Read more>>